N.J.'s House Democrats: Protect Americans from gun violence
October 02, 2015 at 12:01 PM
WASHINGTON — All six U.S. House Democrats in New Jersey's congressional delegation called for legislation that can "protect innocent lives while safeguarding the rights of law-abiding gun owners."
The letter was sent to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday, the same day a gunman killed nine people at a community college in Oregon. It was signed by 147 House members, including Republican Reps. Peter King of New York and Robert Dold of Illinois.
"We call on you to bring to the floor legislation that can protect innocent lives while safeguarding the rights of law abiding gun owners," the lawmakers wrote. "No legislation will stop every tragedy, but passing common sense gun laws will at least stop some. It is the least we can do to honor the memory of those we've lost to gun violence and prevent that list from growing."
Following the killing of 26 students and adults at a Connecticut elementary school in 2012, the Senate failed to muster the 60 votes needed to advance bipartisan legislation to expand background checks of gun buyers. There have no votes on gun legislation since then.
President Obama also bemoaned the lack of legislation to address gun violence.
"It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun," he said in response to the Oregon shootings. "This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in America."
Boehner's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The National Rifle Association, the powerful gun-rights lobbying group, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
N.J. lawmakers signing the letter were Reps. Donald Norcross (D-1st Dist.), Frank Pallone Jr. (D-6th Dist.), Albio Sires (D-8th Dist.), Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-9th Dist.), Donald Payne Jr. (D-10th Dist.) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12th Dist.).